6Some Ecosystems Produce Plant Matter Faster Than Others Do Gross primary productivity (GPP)Rate at which an ecosystem’s producers convert solar energy to chemical energy and biomassKcal/m2/yearNet primary productivity (NPP)Rate at which an ecosystem’s producers convert solar energy to chemical energy, minus the rate at which producers use energy for aerobic respirationEcosystems and life zones differ in their NPP.
7Estimated Annual Average NPP in Major Life Zones and Ecosystems Figure 3.15: The estimated annual average net primary productivity in major life zones and ecosystems is expressed in this graph as kilocalories of energy produced per square meter per year (kcal/m2/yr). Question: What are nature’s three most productive and three least productive systems? (Data from R. H. Whittaker, Communities and Ecosystems, 2nd ed., New York: Macmillan, 1975)Fig. 3-15, p. 66
8Forest Ecosystem Observation What living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) components can you observe or infer in this forested ecosystem? [List them.] Be as specific as possible.For each biotic component, is it a producer (“autotroph”; makes nutrients it needs from energy and compounds from its environment) or a consumer (“heterotroph”; must obtain its energy-storing molecules and other nutrients by feeding on other organisms)?For consumers, which type is it?primary consumer (herbivore)secondary consumercarnivore which feeds on the flesh of herbivorestertiary (higher-level) consumer which feeds on flesh of other carnivores.decomposeromnivore
9Forest Ecosystem Observation, cont. Write about the vertical spatial arrangement (i.e. stratification) of the plants. What types of plants dominate the various strata? Sketch a diagram of the stratification, labeling your sketch.Identify as many of the plant species as you can. (e.g., white oak)
10Forest Ecosystem Observation, cont. Write a nature haiku, a short poem usually written in three lines.Don’t worry about syllables.
15Teeth!Herbivores have lots of molars—back, flat teeth for grinding branches, grasses and seeds. Since their food doesn’t try to escape, they use their front teeth like pruning sheers to clip leaves and stems.
16Teeth!Carnivore teeth on the other hand, are sharp and scissor-like. Their front teeth bite and hold on while their long canine teeth tear into prey. Their molars are used for slicing rather than chewing because they mainly swallow their food in whole chunks.
17Teeth!Omnivores, such as otters and bears, eat both plants and meat, so not surprisingly, they have a combination of sharp front teeth and grinding molars. Humans are set up with teeth like this, whether we eat meat or not, so look in your own mouth to see an example of omnivore teeth.
20Core Case Study: Tropical Rain Forests Are Disappearing Cover about 2% of the earth’s land surfaceContain about 50% of the world’s known plant and animal speciesDisruption will have three major harmful effectsReduce biodiversityAccelerate global warmingChange regional weather patterns
21Natural Capital Degradation: Satellite Image of the Loss of Tropical Rain Forest Figure 3.1: Natural capital degradation.This satellite image shows the loss of topical rain forest, cleared for farming, cattle grazing, and settlements, near the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz between June 1975 (left) and May 2003 (right).Fig. 3-1a, p. 54
22QuestionWhat did we learn yesterday that can explain why the earth could support more people if they all ate at lower trophic levels by consuming grains, vegetables, and fruits directly rather than passing such crops through another trophic level and eating grain eaters or herbivores such as cattle?
27NY Times Article--Salamaders on-the-cusp-of-climate-change
283-4 What Happens to Matter in an Ecosystem? Concept 3-4 Matter, in the form of nutrients, cycles within and among ecosystems and the biosphere, and human activities are altering these chemical cycles.
29Biogeochemical Cycles What does this word mean?Handout/WebquestWater (Hydrological) CycleHow are humans impacting the water cycle?Carbon CycleOcean AcidificationNitrogen Cycle5: Name three ways humans have impacted the nitrogen cycle.DiscussPhosphorous Cycle
30Teams—How are humans impacting the following biogeochemical cycles Teams—How are humans impacting the following biogeochemical cycles? What are the potential or realized implications?HydrologicalCarbonNitrogenPhosphorousSulfur
31Water Cycles through the Biosphere Natural renewal of water quality: three major processesEvaporationPrecipitationTranspirationAlteration of the hydrologic cycle by humansWithdrawal of large amounts of freshwater at rates faster than nature can replace itClearing vegetationIncreased flooding when wetlands are drained
32Hydrologic Cycle Including Harmful Impacts of Human Activities Figure 3.16: Natural capital.This diagram is a simplified model of the water cycle, or hydrologic cycle, in which water circulates in various physical forms within the biosphere. Major harmful impacts of human activities are shown by the red arrows and boxes. Question: What are three ways in which your lifestyle directly or indirectly affects the hydrologic cycle?Fig. 3-16, p. 67
33Carbon Cycle Depends on Photosynthesis and Respiration Link between photosynthesis in producers and respiration in producers, consumers, and decomposersAdditional CO2 added to the atmosphereTree clearingBurning of fossil fuelsWarms the atmosphere
34Natural Capital: Carbon Cycle with Major Harmful Impacts of Human Activities Figure 3.19: Natural capital.This simplified model illustrates the circulation of various chemical forms of carbon in the global carbon cycle, with major harmful impacts of human activities shown by the red arrows. Question: What are three ways in which you directly or indirectly affect the carbon cycle?Fig. 3-19, p. 70
35Increase in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, 1960-2009 Figure 14 This graph shows the atmospheric concentrationof carbon dioxide (cO2) measured at a majoratmospheric research center in Mauna Loa, Hawaii,1960–2009. The annual fluctuation in CO2 valuesoccurs because land plants take up varying amounts ofCO2 in different seasons. (Data from Scripps Instituteof Oceanography, 2010, and U.S. Energy InformationAgency, 2010)Supplement 9, Fig 14
36Nitrogen CycleFigure 1: The nitrogen cycle. Yellow arrows indicate human sources of nitrogen to the environment. Red arrows indicate processes in which microorganisms participate in the transformation of nitrogen. Blue arrows indicate physical forces acting on nitrogen. And green arrows indicate natural processes affecting the form and fate of nitrogen that do not involve microbes.
37Nitrogen Cycles through the Biosphere: Bacteria in Action (1) Nitrogen fixed by lightningNitrogen fixed by bacteria and cyanobacteriaCombine gaseous nitrogen with hydrogen to make ammonia (NH3) and ammonium ions (NH4+)NitrificationSoil bacteria change ammonia and ammonium ions to nitrate ions (NO3-)DenitrificationNitrate ions back to nitrogen gas
38Nitrogen Cycles through the Biosphere: Bacteria in Action (2) Human intervention in the nitrogen cycleAdditional NO and N2O in atmosphere from burning fossil fuels; also causes acid rainN2O to atmosphere from bacteria acting on fertilizers and manureDestruction of forest, grasslands, and wetlandsAdd excess nitrates to bodies of waterRemove nitrogen from topsoil
39Nitrogen Cycle in a Terrestrial Ecosystem with Major Harmful Human Impacts Figure 3.20: Natural capital.This diagram is a simplified model of the circulation of various chemical forms of nitrogen in the nitrogen cycle in a terrestrial ecosystem, with major harmful human impacts shown by the red arrows. Question: What are three ways in which you directly or indirectly affect the nitrogen cycle?Fig. 3-20, p. 71
40Human Input of Nitrogen into the Environment Figure 16 Global trends in the annual inputs of nitrogeninto the environment from human activities, withprojections to 2050, are shown in this graph. (Datafrom 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessmentt)Supplement 9, Fig 16
41Nitrogen Fixation N2 NH4+ Nitrogen fixation is the process wherein N2 is converted to ammonium, or NH4+. This is the only way that organisms can attain nitrogen directly from the atmosphere; the few that can do this are called nitrogen fixing organisms. Certain bacteria, including those among the genus Rhizobium, are able to fix nitrogen (or convert it to ammonium) through metabolic processes, analogous to the way mammals convert oxygen to CO2 when they breathe. Nitrogen fixing bacteria often form symbiotic relationships with host plants. This symbiosis is well-known to occur in the legume family of plants (e.g., beans, peas, and clover). In this relationship, nitrogen fixing bacteria inhabit legume root nodules (Figure 2) and receive carbohydrates and a favorable environment from their host plant in exchange for some of the nitrogen they fix. There are also nitrogen fixing bacteria that exist without plant hosts, known as free-living nitrogen fixers. In aquatic environments, blue-green algae (really a bacteria called cyanobacteria) are an important free-living nitrogen fixer.In addition to nitrogen fixing bacteria, high-energy natural events such as lightning, forest fires, and even hot lava flows can cause the fixation of smaller, but significant, amounts of nitrogen. The high energy of these natural phenomena can break the triple bonds of N2 molecules, thereby making individual N atoms available for chemical transformation.Within the last century, humans have become as important a source of fixed nitrogen as all natural sources combined. Burning fossil fuels, using synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, and cultivation of legumes all fix nitrogen. Through these activities, humans have more than doubled the amount of fixed nitrogen that is pumped into the biosphere every year (Figure 3), the consequences of which are discussed below.
42DenitrificationDenitrification is an anaerobic process that is carried out by denitrifying bacteria, which convert nitrate to dinitrogen in the following sequence:Nitric oxide and nitrous oxide are gases that have environmental impacts. Nitric oxide (NO) contributes to smog, and nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important greenhouse gas, thereby contributing to global climate change.
43NitrificationSome of the ammonium produced by decomposition is converted to nitrate (NO3-) via a process called nitrification. The process of nitrification has some important consequences. Ammonium ions (NH4+) are positively charged and therefore stick (are sorbed) to negatively charged clay particles and soil organic matter. The positive charge prevents ammonium nitrogen from being washed out of the soil (or leached) by rainfall. In contrast, the negatively charged nitrate ion is not held by soil particles and so can be washed out of the soil, leading to decreased soil fertility and nitrate enrichment of downstream surface and groundwater.LeachingNote that some of the nitrates produced are taken up by plants.
44Nitrogen Mineralization Conversion of organic forms of N (e.g., proteins, DNA) to inorganic forms (ammonium), which is available to plants.Decomposers
47The Phosphorous CycleA SOIL-BASED VIEW OF THE PHOSPHORUS CYCLE Initially, phosphate weathers from rocks. The small losses in a terrestrial system caused by leaching through the action of rain are balanced in the gains from weathering rocks. In soil, phosphate is absorbed on clay surfaces and organic matter particles and becomes incorporated (immobilized). Plants dissolve ionized forms of phosphate. Herbivores obtain phosphorus by eating plants, and carnivores by eating herbivores. Herbivores and carnivores excrete phosphorus as a waste product in urine and feces. Phosphorus is released back to the soil when plants or animal matter decomposes and the cycle repeats.A GLOBAL VIEW OF THE PHOSPHORUS CYCLE The phosphorus cycle occurs when phosphorus moves from land to sediments in the seas and then back to land again. The main storage for phosphorus is in the earth’s crust. On land phosphorus is usually found in the form of phosphates. By the process of weathering and erosion phosphates enter rivers and streams that transport them to the ocean. Once in the ocean the phosphorus accumulates on continental shelves in the form of insoluble deposits. After millions of years, the crustal plates rise from the sea floor and expose the phosphates on land. After more time, weathering will release them from rock and the cycle's geochemical phase begins again.
48Phosphorus Cycles through the Biosphere Cycles through water, the earth’s crust, and living organismsMost of these compounds contain phosphate ions (PO43-)Limiting factor for plant growthImpact of human activities:Clearing forestsRemoving large amounts of phosphate from the earth to make fertilizersErosion leaches phosphates into streams
49Phosphorus Cycle with Major Harmful Human Impacts Figure 3.21: Natural capital.This is a simplified model of the circulation of various chemical forms of phosphorus (mostly phosphates) in the phosphorus cycle, with major harmful human impacts shown by the red arrows. Question: What are three ways in which you directly or indirectly affect the phosphorus cycle?Fig. 3-21, p. 73
50Sulfur Cycles through the Biosphere Sulfur is found in organisms, ocean sediments, soil, rocks, and fossil fuels .Human activities affect the sulfur cycle:Burn sulfur-containing coal and oilRefine sulfur-containing petroleum to make gasoline, heating oil, etc.Convert sulfur-containing metallic mineral oresOnce the sulfur is in the atmosphere, SO2 is converted to droplets of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and particles of sulfate (SO42-) salts, which return to the earth as acid deposition.
51Natural Capital: Sulfur Cycle with Major Harmful Impacts of Human Activities Figure 3.22: Natural capital.This is a simplified model of the circulation of various chemical forms of sulfur in the sulfur cycle, with major harmful impacts of human activities shown by the red arrows. Question: What are three ways in which your lifestyle directly or indirectly affects the sulfur cycle?Fig. 3-22, p. 74